Massachusetts Children and Family Services
There are Massachusetts state agencies that can become involved in divorce proceedings. In particular, the Department of Revenue (DOR) Child Support Enforcement Division and the Department of Child and Family Services (DCF) become players in disputes involving child support, locating absent parents, establishing paternity and enforcing child support across state lines, and allegations of domestic violence and child abuse.
DOR Child Support Enforcement
The primary responsibility of the DOR Child Support Division is to enforce child support orders. Our attorneys at Massachusetts Family Law Group (MFLG) represent both mothers and fathers in child support enforcement matters. Our clients include both people who are paying child support and those receiving it. We work with the DOR attorneys who are charged with enforcing child support orders. These attorneys do not represent either party. Rather, they represent the Commonwealth in any dispute involving child support paid through the DOR.
Don't Ignore DOR
In some instances, the payroll deduction ordered by the court is delayed, and the DOR does not receive the payment. It is important for the payor to pay the DOR rather than the recipient of the support. Otherwise, the DOR may determine that the child support was not paid and could take actions such as suspending your driver's license, seizing your bank account, or even requesting that your professional license be suspended. You could even wind up in jail if you are found in contempt of violating the child support order. It is important to have zealous representation whether you are seeking to enforce child support or are contesting the enforcement efforts. We know how to pursue a favorable outcome in these matters.
Children and Family Services Matters
Formerly known as the Department of Social Services (DSS), the agency recently changed its name to the Department of Children and Family (DCF) Services.
At Massachusetts Family Law Group, we defend clients against charges of child abuse after a DCF complaint. Our lawyers provide clients with aggressive representation to protect the children and get justice for our clients. It is important to have skilled and experienced advocacy that investigates the facts rather than letting the case worker rely on hearsay, rumor and half-truths. We have defended parents in custody disputes when one parent brings false allegations of child abuse to strengthen his or her assertion that the other parent is unfit. We work with investigators and specialists to get to the truth of such allegations.
How to Fight an Unfavorable Report From DCF
When arguing against a DCF report, our lawyers highlight the inaccuracies and missing data caused by an overworked investigator. Flaws in the report which would likely cast doubt on the conclusions may include:
- Spending more time with one parent than the other
- Presenting unsupported statements as facts
- Reporting based on inadequate investigation
- Investigating each parent in different circumstances such as one at home with the children and the other at work without them
- Failing to interview teachers, day care providers or others with firsthand knowledge of the family
DCF hearings are high-stakes events. You could lose your children to foster care. Visitation could be limited or stopped. Your parental rights might be terminated. Don't take chances by hiring a lawyer unfamiliar with the DCF and its procedures.
Don't Go Against a State Agency on Your Own – Call a Lawyer
While the overall mission of protecting children is clearly in the best interest of children, sometimes the DCF and its investigators abuse their authority by failing to conduct proper investigations, or by relying on questionable information and hearsay evidence.
You need to find a DCF defense attorney who can stand up to inconclusive 51A reports and 51B investigations, care and protection petitions, and termination of parental rights cases stemming from false allegations of abuse and extreme neglect.
Why Massachusetts Family Law Group?
Because we deal with DCF and DOR matters almost every day, we understand the processes used in both of these state agencies. When you hire us, we will help you prepare for meeting the DCF investigator or help you appeal a negative decision after a DCF investigation. We also help clients who are seeking or contesting the deduction of child support payments through the DOR.
Contact a Plymouth DCF Lawyer
For information about DCF and DOR matters, call (800) 299-DIVORCE or contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation. We represent clients all along the South Shore, South Coast and Cape Cod.